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This post is supported by APHA

I have always been active, I’m obsessed with Dance, love most sports and would jump into any team to get out of doing ‘homework time’ at boarding school while I was growing up. I was 18 years old when I had my first knee pain. I’d moved home for uni holidays and had been doing a lot of aerobics and my knee suffered a lateral meniscus tear. I saw quite a few different health practitioners about it and I was led in every which way. What started as pain in my knee, led to pain in my ankles and hips from allowing my body to over compensate for the original injury that I thought would never be fixed. Until months of things getting worse, finally an amazing physio suggested it was the meniscus…Thank goodness for him because I was so over the whole thing and I thought my active lifestyle would be over forever by such a trivial injury. Once we got the scans, we were referred to a knee specialist.

Growing up around the snow and having quite a few skier friends who had suffered the worst of knee injuries, my mum and I researched, taking some amazing recommendations of who the best person to see for my knee would be. This is the bonus of having private health insurance, we get to choose which doctor we want to see and know he or she is the best for us or our condition.
Within the week, we road tripped up to Sydney to see this Doctor that was perfect. The appointment was great, my knee was moved around a little and he confirmed that is was the meniscus and it would be best to operate for me to have the best movement going into the future and my life would be pretty much back to it’s old, active, young self.
The Doctor put my mind at ease, but the punch line of the whole appointment was; “Ok, so would you like to come in on Thursday?”
HUHHHHH???? Thursday? Like Thursday in 2 days? It was Tuesday! That blew my mind. I knew friends that had waited on lists for years for their knee surgeries through the public system. YEARS! And I could get mine done with only 2 days waiting period??? All because of private health insurance! I couldn’t fathom how incredible this was and how grateful I was to have been in private health insurance.

My mum had always made it a priority in our family. And I can tell you we didn’t grow up with a lot of money, but Mum had priorities for us kids and private health insurance was one of them. Growing up in the country, we have access to doctors and a public hospital but it’s considered rural so if anything goes wrong, we need to be taken straight to the bigger hospitals for the better resources. I don’t know whether, because of that, a lot of people in the area believe that they don’t need private health insurance, simply because we don’t have a private hospital down here. It confuses me as it makes me believe that it’s all the more reason we need to make it a priority so we can have the choice and not be limited to the long waiting periods that some may think they have to endure. We all have choices and it’s ok to travel.

So Thursday morning came, I fasted, and Mum and I headed over the bridge to check in to my hotel room … hmm hmm I mean hospital room. The whole experience was amazing; from entry, the waiting room was just beautiful, the staff were so welcoming and lovely and I felt so at ease going into my first every surgery as it can be a really scary thing. I just didn’t feel like I was walking into a big, overworked hospital, but instead walking into somewhere that I felt like I was someone and they cared.
I remember waking up from surgery with happy smiles by the incredible nurses and being looked after really well. The whole experience was really great and even though I definitely don’t recommend injuring your knees, I do recommend using private health insurance and the benefit of private hospitals.

For more information on private hospitals, visit http://privatehospitals.org.au